Dearest friends and family,
- Hermana Mangum and I will be companions.
- We had a great lesson with Renaldo. He wants to come to church and he seems to be progressing and be genuinely interested in learning more. We are so excited to be working with him and I really think that he coming unto Christ. It is so amazing!
- We made contact with a less-active sister who is trying to come back to church. We scheduled a weekly time to study the scriptures with her and she is so excited for us to start coming over each week. We are so excited to be working with her!
- We had an awesome lesson with another sister in the ward. She has some health problems so it is hard for her to come to church but we had an awesome lesson with her. She seems to really trust us and care about us and we love her. I feel so blessed to be able to continue working with her.
- We started helping at Cargill Meat Solutions in their ESL (english as a second language program). They help their employees learn english and gain GEDs and stuff like that. Sister Penn (the member we live with) works there. They work with the community college in town and it is an AMAZING program. We just get to talk to people and read with them in english. Some of them are hispanic. Most are somalis. They are some of the kindest people I have ever met. I LOVE working with this program. It is so amazing. In fact, Sister Penn is thinking about retiring soon and I would love to come work here in Fort Morgan 🙂
- We had a rather interesting visit with a sister in the ward. We showed up and she was preparing for a colonoscopy. I dont want to get into the details, but lets just say that hand sanitizer is a great thing and it was one of those moments when I just kept thinking to myself “how in the world did I end up in this situation?” We survived a little worse for wear but nothing too bad. It made me grateful for my health and for hot showers and laundry. haha
- Sister Luke was pretty sick this week too. That was challenging and I felt bad because there wasn’t much I could do to help. However, our lovely Sister Penn jumped into action and made her mac and cheese (the one thing she felt she could eat). After lots of sleep, some jello and lots of ginger ale. We think she will make a full recovery. I feel very blessed that I didnt get sick as well and that I was able to help her out a little bit. I was also extremely grateful for members and their support to us missionaries. Sister Penn is my personal super hero. She is amazing to us and we just love her. I feel so blessed to be able to get to live with her.
What have you learned the most while you have been gone?
I think two things have been recurring themes throughout my mission. The first is that God does indeed love each and every one of His children. He is our father and He wants us to have happiest and joy in our lives. As a missionary, I get to feel some of that love for the people I teach and visit and I know His love is powerful! I know it! I cannot deny it. I am amazed because I mess up and fall short every single day. I make mistakes and I have doubts and I am very far from perfect but it is so comforting to know and be constantly reminded through miracles that God LOVES us. He loves us just the way we are. He certainly wants us to grow and progress but HE will ALways ALWAYS ALWAYS love us. There is no sin so great, so sorrow so intense, no decision so poor that He will not love us. His love is All encompassing and powerful! I think that is probably the greatest lesson I have learned.
The second is to have faith. I think I have always had faith but I haven’t always understood faith. I have had a belief but faith leads to action. Faith is what convinces me to get my butt out of bed and walk out into the cold every morning. Faith is what leads missionaries to tract when they know typically it is not very effective. Faith is what keeps me here. On my mission, I have had the glorious opportunity of demonstrating my faith and growing my faith simultaneously and it is such a wonderful blessing. I feel stretched and uncomfortable during some part of nearly every day but I have faith that this is where I am supposed to be and this is what I am supposed to be doing, so I keep going even when it is uncomfortable or just plain hard.
These two lessons are ones that I would not trade for the world. I feel so very blessed to become more acquainted with my Father in Heaven and my Savior. There is a quote by one of the pioneers from the willie and martin hardcart company. he said something along the lines of “The trek was our price to become acquianted with God and it was an honor and priveledge to pay it.” I kind of think my mission is like that. This is my chance in my life to become closer to God and I am so grateful to pay this price.
Also what have you learned about you that you didn’t know about yourself?
I think something that I learned about myself is that I love teaching. I love working with people. I love helping others to learn and to better thier opportunity. Working with the just serve program and doing service has helped me understand what I want to do in life. I want to work with or create a nonprofit. I have come to realize that my goal in life is to be a force for good. I have also become more aware of how important it is to be to be a wife and mother. I have realized that mothers have an ability to love in such an unselfish and Christlike way. I want to be able to cultivate that love in my own life but I believe the only way I can truly understand that love would be to indeed have a family of my own.
Well everyone, now that I have written a novel. I guess I just want to end by saying that I love you all. Thank you for your support. I am sad to say goodbye to Sister Luke but I am so very grateful for this chance to be companions with one of my best friends. It will be so wonderful.
Sister Man-gum and Sister Man-hair! Doesn’t it sound like a wonderful combination!!!! It will be awesome! I could not be more excited!!
Love you all. Thank you for the thoughts, prayers, letters and emails. I am so grateful for all of you. You are all such blessings in my life. Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for everything. Love you all!